Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes talks about improving the non-conference basketball schedule, search for new offensive coordinator and the Pitt script with Chris Peak.
From Pitt PR-PITTSBURGH (8-4) vs. #21/22 NAVY (10-2)
MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN
December 28, 2015 • 2:30 p.m., ET
Annapolis, Md. • Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000/FieldTurf)
• Pitt makes its 32nd all-time postseason appearance when it faces nationally ranked Navy in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.
• Led by first-year head coach Pat Narduzzi, the Panthers finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, their best 12-game mark since 2009. A bowl victory would give Pitt nine wins, its most since that 2009 edition finished with a 10-3 mark.
• The Panthers and Midshipmen are not unfamiliar foes. In a series that dates back to 1912, Pitt leads, 22-14-3. The teams split the past four meetings, the most recent occurring in 2013 when host Navy defeated Pitt, 24-21, on a field goal as time expired.
• A victory over Navy would give Pitt its first win over a ranked opponent since a 28-21 decision over No. 24/25 Notre Dame in 2013.
• Playing in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, this bowl will essentially be a road game for the Panthers. Pitt went 5-1 on the road this season, its best away mark since 2008. Pitt’s lone road defeat came at Iowa on a 57-yard field goal on the game’s last play.
• The Military Bowl will be a classic case of strength vs. strength. The Panthers rank 20th nationally against the run, surrendering just 126.1 yards per game. The Midshipmen boast the nation’s No. 3 rushing offense, producing an average of 319.2 per contest.
• Pitt became the first school in ACC history to sweep the league Rookie of the Year awards. The media voted freshman safety Jordan Whitehead the Overall and Defensive Rookie of the Year, while redshirt freshman tailback Qadree Ollison earned the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. The ACC coaches voted Whitehead and Ollison Co-Rookie of the Year winners.
PITT-NAVY SERIES NOTES
Pitt holds a 22-14-3 advantage over Navy in a series that began in 1912…the Panthers and Midshipmen have split the past four meetings…Navy claimed the most recent encounter, 24-21, in Annapolis during the 2013 season…Pitt scored victories in 2009 at Heinz Field (27-14) and on the road in 2008 (42-21)…in 2007, Navy defeated the Panthers, 48-45, in two overtimes…the ‘07 encounter marked the first meeting between the two teams since 1989…Pitt and the Midshipmen played 19 consecutive times between 1961-79, followed by seven consecutive meetings from 1983-89…Pitt’s longest win streak in the series is six games (1914-16; 1933-34; 1954), while Navy’s is four games (1965-68)…two of the most famous games in the Pitt-Navy series took place in Annapolis…on Oct. 23, 1976, Tony Dorsett broke the NCAA career rushing mark on a breathtaking 32-yard touchdown run in a 45-0 Pitt victory…Dorsett would win the Heisman Trophy that season and Pitt would claim the 1976 national championship with a 12-0 record…on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum from a Pitt perspective, the Panthers suffered their only loss of the 1963 season with a 24-12 setback to the host Midshipmen and quarterback Roger Staubach, who would win the Heisman that year…Pitt finished the 1963 season with a 9-1 mark and ranked as high as No. 3 in the final polls, while Navy went 9-2 and ranked No. 2.
PITT-NAVY HISTORY IN BRIEF
Series Began: 1912
Series Overall: Pitt leads 22-14-3
At Pittsburgh: Pitt leads 12-4-2
At Navy: Pitt leads 10-7-1
At Neutral Sites: Navy leads 3-0
OT Games: Navy leads 1-0
Last Meeting at Navy: Oct. 26, 2013 (Navy 24, Pitt 21)
Last Meeting at Pitt: Sept. 19, 2009 (Pitt 27, Navy 14)
Current Series Streak: Navy has won 1 (2013)
Longest Pitt Series Win Streak: 6 games (1914-16; 1933-34; 1954)
Longest Navy Series Win Streak: 4 games (1965-68)
Largest Pitt Victory Margin: 46 points (52-6, 1988)
Largest Navy Victory Margin: 23 points (32-9, 1962)
Television • ESPN
Eamon McAnaney, play-by-play
Rocky Boiman, analyst
Quint Kessenich, reporter